I recently had a conversation with a senior manager who is traveling long distance every week for a project. There was a lot of discussion and debate when she decided to take this assignment – with long distance travel being a major concern as well as whether it fit with her longer term career goals.
We are often faced with situations that are not ideal and don’t seem to fit with what we had in mind. Typically, we have a choice to accept it or reject it, but also need to weigh the consequences of these options. Sometimes it’s not clear that there is actually a choice, and we may not feel confident enough to speak up and challenge the situation. We have all had difficult assignments, demanding bosses, and non-stop travel schedules and at times, these seem outside of our control. But looking back now, I see that many of the things that I didn’t like doing or didn’t understand their purpose or fit, have actually come together and prepared me for future opportunities.
Our destiny is determined by choices – and those choices will ultimately be a mixture of good ones and bad ones. As I have shared before, I have learned more from my mistakes and failures than from my successes. In fact, when things go right for too long, I start to wonder when the other shoe will drop. I have decided that there are no bad choices as long as I learn from them – it’s all about the journey and making the most from whatever situation I am placed in. When all else fails, I know I still have the choice to have a positive attitude.
As for the senior manager, she too has made the decision to have a positive attitude about her assignment and is discovering the “silver lining” of building new relationships on the project. At the end of the day, attitude is everything and it is within our power to choose what it will be.
By blogger Barbara Adachi, Deloitte LLP